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Zahy Guajajara 

"Pytuhem - A letter in defense of the Guardians of the Forest"

2020 16min.

Curitiba, Brasil  /  London


Zahy Guajajara uses his life story to relate the journey of indigenous peoples’ struggle for “R-existence”. He speaks about the Guardians of the Forests, a group of Guajajaras who fight for the preservation of the forest; about their people, ancestors, and rituals. The Guardians of the Forest also protect the Awá Guajá, Indians who reject contact with western civilization. The intense deforestation caused by the fires set by groups of illegal hunters and miners is exhausting their water and food reserves. Since Bolsonaro became president of Brazil, five Guardians have been murdered.

Zahy Guajajara was born in the Indigenous Reservation of Cana Brava, in Maranhão,  Brazil, and in 2010 he moved to Rio de Janeiro where he became an activist ate the same time that began working in television, theatre and cinema. Mariana Vilas-Bôas was born in Rio, is a stage manager with experience on television, theatre, and film, has architectural training and directs experimental audio visual projects. Zahy and Mariana began collaborating on videoperformance Aiku’è. In 2020 they joined forces once more and are looking for new methods of creation by exploring the limits of the social isolation imposed during the global Coronavirus pandemic. Politics manifesting through sensorial art.

Performance: Zahy Guajajara
Direction: Mariana Vilas-Boas 
Script: Zahy Guajajara and Mariana Vilas-Boas

Photography: Leandro Pagliaro

Acknowledgements: images used with permission by Leandro Pagliaro from short filme Aikué and by Taciano Brito from documentary Wazayzar - Guardiões da vida.


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